music journalist since 1992 teacher since 2004 blogger since 2012 podcaster since 2020
Digitalism live in Los Angeles at Fonda Music Box on December 13, 2011 reviewed for ElektroDaily.com:
Digitalism has a Wizard of Oz thing going on with its live show. The German duo brought its live show in support of its second album, I Love You, Dude to the Music Box Tuesday December 13th. But the two’s floor-centric, beat-heavy tracks would have been better suited to that venue’s Friday dance party. What Jens Moelle and Ismail Tufekci, Digitalism, present as a live act is really nothing more than a glorified DJ set.
The two looked like they were cooking more than anything else as they twisted knobs with so much enthusiasm, one almost expected them to shout, “Bam,” Emeril-style at regular intervals. These magic knobs were purportedly the source of the bombastic sounds emanating from the stage, but who really knows where the perfectly executed noises were being generated. The two were joined by a live drummer who spent just as much time slapping drum pads as he did playing actual drums, once again bringing up the question of degree of “live-ness.”
All of this was in near darkness with a multi-colored, flashing LED light show distracting the audience from anything that was—or wasn’t, as the case may be—happening on stage. This was just as well since the band members weren’t doing anything to look at anyway. Occasionally, Moelle made his way to a microphone and belted out some lyrics that added a much needed dose of humanity to the overly digital—no pun intended—performance.